Earl Thomas stands staunchly behind his message to the Seattle Seahawks: Pay him or trade him.
Writing for The Players' Tribune, Thomas elaborated on the demands that he posted on Instagram last month, in which he asked the Seahawks to offer him an extension or trade him to a team that would be willing to commit to the long term.
"I'm asking the Seahawks to do one of two things: Offer me an extension. Or trade me to a team that wants me to be part of their future," Thomas wrote Thursday.
He later expounded on his stance.
"In the end, it's like I said: If the Seahawks don't intend on having me around for the long-term, then I understand," Thomas wrote. "And if they want to start over and rebuild, then that's their right -- it's part of the business. It's not what I want ... but I get it. All I ask, though, is that if that's the case, and they don't want me anymore -- just please trade me to an organization that does.
"Please trade me to a team that wants me, so I can give my all to them for the rest of my career."
The All-Pro safety has been subject of consistent trade speculation this summer. His decision to hold out from training camp prompted coach Pete Carroll to note "[Thomas] should be here, and he's not." Carroll added "he's under contract."
In his account, Thomas fought back sternly against the notion that players must respect a contract when teams can rip up the documents at will when they decide to move on. The 29-year-old safety used ex-Seahawks linebacker Lofa Tatupu being asked to take a pay cut, then being cut when he refused as one example. He noted Richard Sherman's recent release as another.
Thomas said he's holding out to get paid because he's outplayed his current deal. Given the short lifespan of NFL players, Thomas knows he must capitalize on any opportunity to get what he's earned.
"But I'm standing strong on this -- because I've got to," he wrote. "I'm standing strong when it comes to getting what I deserve. I've been one of the best defensive players in this league for the better part of a decade, and the numbers show that this team plays much better with me than without me. Beyond that, I still have some great years of football left in my tank. I'm not even close to slowing down. I'm still working to get better."
Thomas reiterated that his desire isn't to leave Seattle, but wrote that if the team isn't willing to pay him, he needs to move on.
"And that's one of the things about this that's been very frustrating -- this idea that I'm doing what I'm doing because I don't want to play for Seattle anymore," he wrote. "That's just not true, man. I love Seattle. But I'd hoped I wouldn't even have to say that. I'd hoped that the way I've played for this team over the last eight years would tell you all you need to know.
"I love Seattle.
"With that being said ... I also have learned why I need to take care of this business side of things. In the NFL, no matter what you've done or what you've accomplished, teams are constantly reminding you that you don't matter."